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Accounting for the Gender Gap in College Attainment

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  • Fang (Annie) Yang
  • Suqin Ge

Abstract

One striking phenomenon in the U.S. labor market is the reversal of the gender gap in college attainment. Females have outnumbered males in college attainment since 1987. We develop a discrete choice model of college entry decisions to study the effects of changes in relative earnings, changes in parental education, and changes in the marriage market on time series observations of college attainment by gender. We find that the increase in the relative earnings between college and high school individuals and the increasing parental education have important effects on the increase in college attainment for both genders but cannot explain the reversal of the gender gap. Declining marriage rates decrease returns to college for females less than those for males, and thus is crucial in explaining the reversal of the gender gap in college attainment.

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Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-02.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:08-02

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Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

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Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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Cited by:
  1. Alena Bičáková & Štěpán Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," Discussion Papers 22, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
  2. Hui He, 2010. "Why Have Girls Gone to College? A Quantitative Examination of the Female College Enrollment Rate in the United States: 1955-1980," Working Papers 201016, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.

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